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Why is US sending 3,000 Navy, Marines force to Persian Gulf?

The Pentagon has not yet specified the Marines' role in deterring Iran from interfering with commercial shipping and threatening neighboring Arab states.
Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), left.

WASHINGTON — A contingent of more than 3,000 US Navy personnel and Marines sailed into the Suez Canal on Sunday as the Biden administration weighs options to deter Iran from seizing commercial tanker ships in the Persian Gulf region.

The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, along with sailors and Marines of an Amphibious Ready Group led by the USS Bataan and accompanied by the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall, will provide “greater flexibility and maritime capability” to the United States' Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, the Navy announced today.

What that means: The Pentagon has remained mum on specifically how it intends to employ the Marines, but their arrival is part of a wider buildup of US forces in the region which defense officials described as a response to Iran’s renewed attempts to seize commercial tankers.

The deployment brings additional aircraft, helicopters and amphibious landing craft to join a dozen US F-35s, as well as F-16 and A-10 aircraft and Navy guided-missile destroyers that have already arrived in the region in recent weeks and months to ramp up joint patrols in and around the Strait of Hormuz.

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